tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 2, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
i'm fredricka whitfield. let's get started with what is going on in slidell, louisiana, right now in the after math of what was hurricane isaac. it is about 30 miles northeast of new orleans near the mississippi line. residents are worried about the pearl river and a canal connected to it. both wer swollen by rain from what was hurricane isaac now only remnants continue to turn. let's focus on slidell right now. george howell is there. you got a look at one of the stars of the show, "swamp people." how did that come about? >> reporter: we got a first-hand look and got to see what is happening on the river. right now we are on an offshoot of the pearl river. the water is slowly but surely still rising. we were able to go out and give you a better look at exactly what is happening. no better way to show you what
we are talking about than to take you out on the river. what you see here is the pearl river, some eight to nine feet higher than it typically is. you are seeing this river so high because of all of this storm water, all the rain that came in from hurricane isaac has to go somewhere. it is effecting a lot of communities. officials are also concerned about a navigational canal that runs parallel to the pearl river. there are two locks on the canal, lock 1 and 2. there was concern about the locks failing. but officials seem fairly certain that the locks are doing better. they are monitoring that situation. i want to bring in terrell evans here. no one knows this river better than you. you have seen the river rise before. what are you expecting tonight? >> we are expecting to see it tomorrow it is supposed to go to about 19.5. that's the predict right now. everybody kind of has their eye on it. they are skeptical and watching
the gauges down here on the rise. 19.5 is going to flood quite a few areas down here especially like the upper end of the pearl starting from 59 back this way. some of the areas that were affected through isaac were some of the subdivisions like indian village, quail ridge. those areas are adjacent to the river. they were caught with some storm surge. this river is going to get back in those areas. so there is some concern. we have a subdivision over here called magnolia forest. it is going to be affected, also. so it's a guessing game right now. they are saying 19.5. i hope they are right. >> reporter: i want to show you this water. we are talking about three additional feet of water before all is said and done out here on the pearl river. and we are looking right now at this gauge.
keep in mind that gauge not completely accurate. it has been there for some time and gotten knocked over a bit. we have been able to watch the water rise inch by inch. they are expecting three feet of water in this area. this river expected to crest sometime tomorrow evening. >> thanks so much george howell. keep us posted on that. meantime president obama will be heading to louisiana tomorrow to see the affects of isaac first-hand. his visit comes three days after mitt romney made a stop in that state. obama spokesman said last week the president scheduled his trip to avoid causing logistical problems. to find out how to help many people devastated by isaac visit impact your world page. an american freelance journalist is missing and has not been heard from in weeks. nick joining me with more on this. how much do we know about this
31-year-old former marine turned journalist? >> we are beginning to learn more about austin tice. he was in syria since may working as a freelance journalist in capacity for the washington post and cbs news. what we got earlier this week was a statement from the washington post. they are sending a senior diplomat as well as people with knowledge of this matter saying the czech republic is saying he is being held by the syrian government. since the u.s. left syria their embassy closed. the czech republic has been acting in official capacity for the united states. >> the last time the family members heard from him? >> it has been about three weeks. his mother tweeted earlier today saying this marks the end of the third week since he has been missing. he is unaccounted for. it has been weeks since they have heard from him.
he has experience in conflict zones but not as a journalist but more as a u.s. marine. he was based in the horn of africa and jordan. this is one of the first assignments as a conflict correspondent. >> what is the state department prepared to do to help in locating him or finding out what may have happened? >> the state department gave us a statement. the acting spokesman telling jill dougherty we are working through our cheque protecting power in syria to get information on his welfare and whereabouts and we appreciate the efforts of the cheque mission. we have seen news reports that mr. tice is in syrian custody however the syrian government has yet to confirm these reports. the syrian conflict 19 journalists have been killed since november of 2011 there.
>> we are all hong on his safe return. in washington, d.c. hundreds marched in protest of the sicci war in syria. demonstrators were in full force in front of the white house. they are calling for president obama and the international community to take action against the syrian regime. 103 people were killed in fighting in syria today. the founder of the unification church has died. reverend sun myung moon was famous for holding mass weddings. the newspaper reported his death this afternoon. moon whose followers were known as moonies were sometimes called a cult leader. he served a federal prison term in the mid 1980s for tax evasion. he was 92. president obama hits two states today on his road to
charlotte tour. we'll preview what he needs to do to convince voters to let him keep his job. later i sit down with lynard skynard. they have a new album out and they tell me sometimes fans reveal too much about how much they love the bands' songs. >> it is amazing to hear the different ones from graduation to even parpts say our child was conceived during "free bird." he. he. but plenty of companies do that. so we make something else. we help make life a little easier, more convenient, more rewarding, more entertaining. year after year. it's the reason why we don't have customers. we have members. american express. welcome in. ♪ i can do anything
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president obama is on the campaign trail today. his next stop, toledo, ohio. earlier he was in boulder, colorado. he was there making his case for reelection. our athena jones was with him. what did he have to say? >> reporter: on day two of the president's road to charlotte tour he spoke before a large crowd here, about 13,000 at the university of colorado, boulder. his message was part a rebuttal from what we heard from the republican national convention
last week and an effort to rev up the crowd of young voters. let's listen to what he had to say. >> just over two months from now for the first time in many of your lives you will get a chance to pick a president. and by doing so you will get a chance to choose the path that we take from here. last week the other party gave their pitch at their convention down in florida. don't boo. vote. >> colorado is an important swing state. nine lectoral votes. the president won the state in 2008. they are hoping he can do so again. he has been to colorado 11 times as president and eight of those times this year shows you how important it is. one other push they have been making was this focus on early voting and voting by mail. campaign officials tell us here in the state of colorado 77% of the votes came in either early
or by mail last time around. it is something they can prove pivotal in this state and goes to visit hurricane victims of hurricane isaac later that day. >> thank you so much athena jones traveling with the president. not everybody is happy to have the democratic convention in charlotte. these people are part of the occupy movement. they are planning to demonstrate during the event. how do democrats plan to make their case for a second term for president obama? some big names are part of the lineup. first lady michelle obama taking to the stage on opening day. bill clinton gives his endorsement. thursday vice president joe biden speaking.
before the man of the hour expects his nomination to run for another term as president, all those precede him. thursday the president. cnn's live coverage of the democratic national convention beginning tuesday evening 7:00 p.m. eastern time. a book written by a former navy seal who helped kill osama bin laden, that book comes out this week. a former general weighs in on whether the seal revealed too much. you can continue watching cnn from your mobile phone and watch cnn live from your desktop. just go to cnn.com/tv. ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪ its road gripping performance makes it a cadillac. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with advanced haldex all-wheel drive.
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hurricane isaac has cleared out of the gulf coast but people can still feel the affects every time they go to the gas station. the average price was $3.83 on friday up 9.4% from the end of july. earlier today i asked our alison kosik why. >> the good news is you can pretty much blame isaac for the short term. you can expect to see gas prices
stay higher in the short term and go lower in the longer term. the reason isaac is the brains of this is because isaac hit the gulf coast where the oil production is. 40% of the nation's petroleum is located along the gulf coast. the refineries weren't damaged. the reason isaac is having an impact is because the refineries had to shut down during the storm. that knocked out hundreds of thousands of barrel production during the day. it is not just isaac. also there has been a deadly refinery fire in venezuela. there are fires happening in california. that shut down production, as well. that is sinking supply and driving up oil prices and driving gas prices higher. if less gas is on the market you are seeing gasoline prices go higher.
>> we will keep you posted on when the prices might potentially get lower. u.s. special operations forces have stopped training afghan police recruits. they are double checking their background information first. the move comes after nearly 40 nato troops were killed this year by afghan security members. the 16,000 police officers who are being revetted are still conducting operations. the lawyer for a navy seal, a former navy seal who wrote a tell-all book about killing osama bin laden insists his client didn't reveal classified information. in the book markowen writes it was strange to see such an infamous face up close. it was surreal trying to clean blood off the most wanted man in the world so that i could shoot his photo.
not everyone agrees that he should have released that information. >> the fact that navy seals might be targeted, there might be some type of revenge attacks, clearly that could be a possible outcome. but you can't control that. what you can control is the fact that this incredibly talented seal made a big mistake by publishing this book without getting the authorities to do it and without getting the appropriate redaction and the fact that the mission he was on was a classified mission, classified by the cia, not the department of defense. this was a cia operation. only the cia had the authority to declassify information that might be in that book. the author would say it does not have that classified information. it is not his authority to designate that. >> according to his attorney the pentagon's classified
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authorities in louisiana have lifted a mandatory evacuation order for about 1,200 homes near the mississippi border. residents were told to leave because water in a canal that jets off the pearl river was close to bursting through a lock. engineers eased the pressure. the river is expected to crest monday evening. in iowa federal investigators are trying to figure out what caused a plane to explode in front of thousands of spectators killing the pilot. everything started out normally with three planes flying in formation yesterday at the quad city air show. then one of the planes nose dived into a field. witnesses watched in horror as
the plane exploded into a giant fire ball once it hit the ground. the website is identifying the pilot as 58-year-old glen smith of frisco, texas. president obama on the campaign trail today. his next stop is toledo, ohio. earlier he was in boulder, colorado for a campaign rally. there was no shortage of swipes at romney. the president says the focus of his campaign is about moving forward. let's take a listen to what he had to say. >> on thursday night i'm going to offer you what i believe is a better path forward, a path that will grow this economy and create more jobs and strengthen the middle class. and the good news is you get to choose the path we take. now, you can go with their plan to give massive new tax cuts to folks who have already made it or we can go forward with my
plan to keep taxes low for every american who are still trying to make it. you know, if you talk to a republican out there who says obama, democrats are all about tax and spending. remind them i promised to cut taxes for middle class families and the typical middle class family is paying about $3,600 less in taxes now than when i came into office. i kept my promise. i kept that promise. and now i'm running to make sure taxes aren't raised a single dime for the first $250,000 of income which means 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses will see their taxes remain low because they are the ones who need relief, not folks like me. not folks like mr. romney. he needs it less than i do. but this is ultimately going to
be your choice. you can choose whether we see new jobs and new industries to countries like china or fight for those jobs in states like colorado. my opponent likes to tout his private sector experience and he was incredibly successful. clearly disciplined and hard working. keep in mind that his experience was investing in companies that were called pioneers in the business of outsourcing jobs. when the auto industry was on the verge of collapse he said let's let detroit go bankrupt. i have a different vision for america. i bet on american workers and american manufacturing. today the u.s. auto industry has come roaring back. by the way the car s they are making are better and more fuel efficient.
>> tomorrow the president travels to louisiana to survey damage from hurricane isaac. in 2008 barack obama was promising hope and change. now some critics say he hasn't fulfilled his promises to american voters. what needs to be the president's mission during the convention this week? i asked chief political correspondent earlier today if he needs to highlight everything or spell out what he needs to do next. >> you can't ignore the economy because that leaves a big opening for republicans who have charged all along that the president cannot run on his economic record. and so we hear folks out there going the economy is better than when he took office. he certainly has made improvements. on the one hand they have to say things are better. and on the other hand they have to sell and they are going to get better still. >> you spoke with l.a.'s mayor
earlier on "state of the union." this is how he saw it. >> the path before us, the choices that the american people have in this election, a choice that invests in the economy from the middle out, that continues to build on some of the progress. we have created 4 1/2 million jobs in the last four years. 29 consecutive months of growth in our economy. we want to continue that and compare and contrast with the bush policies that romney/ryan would like to promote going into the future. >> it will be interesting to see if there is a little bit of looking back and then forward as the obama campaign is trying to under score. the expectations are very different this go around. everyone is in agreement with that meaning during obama's first campaign the direction was hope and let's all work together. now it is very clear there is
great polarization. how does the president try to appeal to the kind of disenchanted during this convention? >> a lot of folks have said particularly democrats when you say what is the problem here? he promised to change the tone in washington. they say the republicans wouldn't let him. does that sell to a certain extent it certainly sells to the base. what we are looking at really is an election that still is going to turn on the economy. about the economy right now and about what folks think the economy will be in the future. so what the president has to do is really look forward because people don't vote on the past. they vote on their future. so he has to at once convince folks that things have gotten better but he has to move that along and say you need to stick with me. we are on a path and that is where they use that kind of
contrast thing. you will see him saying and many people saying you don't want to go back to the policies that brought us here in the first place linking george bush and mitt romney. >> robert gibbs sees it this way. >> the speech was about mitt romney and barack obama. barack obama's speech will be about 3 million people that live in america. he is going to focus on how we move this country forward, laying out plans for strengthening the security of the middle class, investing in research and innovation, paying down debt and honoring those that serve overseas. >> she is far more popular, she being the first lady is far more popular than the president is at
this point. it tends to happen. i will tell you this convention is aimed very much at saying we are the party of the people and the other guys you saw in tampa are about the elite. they are about rich people. they have gone out of their way to include people and say come and walk through the convention floor. they have done that so folks can see it. they will have average middle class people talking about how the president's policies have helped them over the past four years. so they definitely want the flavor to be we are not politicians. we are all about you. >> helping to lead our political coverage this week. mitt romney going bowling with the press now. kind of. it happened on his campaign plane. all that was needed was an orange and a sharpy. the reporters would write this question on the piece of fruit saying governor are you going to let portman play obama.
and then they roll the orange back to him don't tell but yes that is what he wrote on there. just a slice of humor on the campaign trail this week. romney will be doing kind of mock debates and that was the reference to portman who will be playing president obama. do you want to know what it is really like to experience the democratic national convention from the inside? join the cnn election round table with wolf blitzer. submit your questions and get your answers in real time. don't miss the election round table tuesday by logging on to cnn.com/round table. the national football league kicks off the regular season this week. to find you a great deal, even if it's not with us. [ ding ] oh, that's helpful! well, our company does that, too.
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the nfl season kicks off this week. there is a cloud hanging over the start of the season, a full blown labor dispute involving the men wearing black and white. >> reporter: as another nfl season gets ready to kick off disaster could be right behind. >> referee: correction on the reporting of the foul. both fouls on the kicking team. five yard penalty. >> reporter: the nfl and referees have been in a labor dispute ever since the last collective bargaining dispute. the nfl hired replacements called from the lower levels of college football as well as the high school ranks. though the nfl continues to provide on the job training for these officials the results have
been mixed with some embarrassing moments that could put the credibility of the league at stake. >> we hope these officials know the rules, know how to enforce them and can keep the game under control and keep order. >> reporter: there are 121 nfl referees considered part-time employees who have other careers outside the nfl. last year officials were paid an average of $149,000 plus benefits. gl the nfl referees want a raise in that salary. they are requesting a significant raise. they want more than double that over the course of five years. the nfl is countering with annual raises of 5% to 11%. there is quite a distance between those. there are also issues about pensions and a few other things. at the end of the day the problem is financial. >> reporter: the nfl players' association has criticized
commissioner roger goodell and the league. >> i think on the whole it is in the back of our minds a bit of a concern. these referees have never refereed in an nfl season game. that is a bit of a concern. >> laws are only as good as their enforcement really. in this case players sense they can get away with something, helmet to helmet hits they will take advantage of that. really it's a public relations thing. it is the perception that the nfl is not doing everything it can to protect players playing a very dangerous game. >> reporter: the first week of games could determine which side gets the upper hand in negotiations. if the games come and go without incidents the nfl will continue using replacements and the locked out referees will continue to lose paychecks. if not the outrage will put pressure on the league to get a
deal done. it is home to some of some of the smartest students in the country and now harvard university is at the center of a cheating scandal. the ivy league investigation next. wówóvó9ñ [ female announcer ] how do you define your moment? the blissful pause just before that rich sweetness touches your lips. the delightful discovery, the mid-sweetening realization that you have the house all to yourself. well, almost. the sweet reward, making a delicious choice that's also a smart choice.
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opposition activists say at least 103 people were killed today alone. 1,600 people were killed in syria last week making it the deadliest week yet in the civil war. the bombing reportedly left at least four people wounded. in south africa murder charges dropped. witnesses say it was the police officers shooting and killing the 34 miners. three separate investigations are underway. in hong kong proposed changes to the curriculum for elementary and secondary schools has parents and teachers accusing the government of trying to brainwash students. several thousand turned out to protest the changes. china says the move is intended to make children more aware of china. cheating scandals in schools nothing new. what about when it happens at
one of the most prestigious schools in the world like harvard. more than 100 students from an intro to congress class last semester are now under investigation. and some who have already graduated have been warned that their degrees could be impacted. cnn's lisa sylvestor takes a look. >> reporter: the test instruc r instructors state it is open book, open internet with one rule students may not discuss the exam with others but the administrative board has been investigating whether half of the class of more than 250 students collaborated or plagiarized on that exam. the review has not been completed but even the allegations were hurt the university says ethics expert and author. >> i was appalled by this news and i will tell you why. you don't want to see the words harvard and cheating in the same sentence. it is horrible when knee student
is cheating. we look to harvard as one of the leading institutions in education. as a leader we expect more from places like harvard. >> reporter: the alleged cheating came to light after the assistant government professor teaching the course noticed similar answers from students. ben samuels is a senior. he says students in the class they spoke to were dumbfounded they were being accused of cheating. >> i think at this point there is more confusion than anything else. the students we talked to by and large are still trying to figure out exactly what they are being accused of. >> reporter: in a statement harvard university president said these allegations if proven represent totally unacceptable behavior that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at harvard depends. other colleges are taking note. andrea is the associate director
of student conduct at the university of maryland. >> they are probably going to use this opportunity to educate students about the importance of integrity and the importance of academic integrity and making sure that students understand it is not just about cheating on an exam or quiz or homework assignment. >> reporter: if it is determined students cheated they could place discipline ary action including being kicked out of the school for a year. >> lynrd skynrd face to face with some of the band members next. humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems.
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the democratic national convention starting tuesday and everybody on the sunday morning talk shows is talking about what might happen in charlotte. if you missed it check t the headlines -- highlights [ laughter ] >> next week in charlotte the president needs to explain why he didn't do what he said he was going to do. when he took offi shortly after his inauguration he said if he didn't have this economy turned around in three years his presidency would be a one-term proposition. >> in tampa we saw nothing but insults and old slogans and tired old ideas. in charlotte the president is going to focus on a plan to provide the middle class in this country some necessary and needed security by investing in research and innovation and strengthening the middle class. and i think a pathway to moving us forward.
>> he didn't talk about the war we are waging in afghanistan or our troops which is an amazing thing for someone who wants to be 66 days from now elected. >> do you think he should have said something? >> he spoke to afghanistan in a big speech before the american legion the night before his convention speech. >> this is a huge big audience here. >> governor romney's convention speech was an opportunity for him to introduce himself to millions of voters who are seeing him for the first time. and in that speech he accomplished what he set out to do. >> david, can you honestly say that the average american is better off today than they were four years ago? >> here is what i can say, chris. i can say that we are in a better position than we were four years ago in our economy in the sense that when this president took office we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. are we where we need to be? no. >> i love his movies but that
moment in time is a commentary beyond romney's speech. i think the romney people you have a convention you want it about your candidate's ideas, not about a bizarre performance. >> if you are mitt romney and your clint eastwood or pick on you, i think i'd give them clint eastwood every night. >> right, right. president obama is busy on the campaign trail. he's headed to ohio right now after a visit in colorado earlier today. continuing the push in swing states on his way to the democratic national convention. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin sat down for an in depth interview with the president and she gives us a sneak preview. >> hi, fred. you know, right now it's easy to get caught up in the little spats of the campaign news cycle, but in the documentary we pulled back and look at some of the major events that shaped the last 3 1/2 years. the president's time in office.
one of the recur erent themes i the participate sanship in -- partisanship in washington. so in my interview with president obama i talked to him about why he hasn't built more relationships with some of those washington insiders who could have helped get his agenda through. here is what he said. >> sometimes michelle and i not doing the circuit and going out to dinners with folks is perceived as us being cool. it actually really has more to do withus being parents. when we're in town here in washington, in the evenings 6:30 we want to be at the dinner table with our kids, and i want to be helping with their homework. i think that's sometimes interpreted as me not wanting to be out there slapping backs and
wheeling and dealing, ant it really has more to do with just the stage we are in our lives. >> if you're re-elected, your girls will be older. probably have their own weekend plans. might not want to hang out with mom and dad. joots already starting to happen. >> do you think you might do more outreach, what you call back slapping, with members of congress? >> my hope is that getting past this election people will have an opportunity to maybe step back and say, you know what? the differences that divide us aren't as important as the common bonds we have as americans, and some of that i'm sure will require additional effort on my part. hopefully we'll see more effort on the other side as well. >> so in the documentary we delve more deeply into all of these issues, both the president's family life and some of these issues of partisanship in washington and who shoulders responsibility for it. we talked to some of the president's closest aides,
including secretary clinton, his former personal assistant reggie love, former chief of staff rahm emanuel, and the leader of the opposition, speaker john boehner and a lot of other people. i hope you'll watch. fredricka. >> we will, indeed, be watching. thanks so much. if you want to know more about what president obama's really like, jessica yellin revealing the man through the people who know him best. watch obama revealed, the man, the president, month night 8:00 eastern right here on cnn. i didn't know how i was gonna to do it, but i knew i was gonna get that opportunity one day, and that's what happened with university of phoenix. nothing can stop me now. i feel like the sky's the limit with what i can do and what i can accomplish. my name is naphtali bryant and i am a phoenix. visit phoenix.edu to find the program that's right for you. enroll now. you want to make sure it goes up and stays up. [ chirp ]
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in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪
all i need to do is mention sweet home alabama, free bird, and you know exactly who i am talking about. lynyrd skynyrd, defining the sound of southern rock since the '70s and even after a tragic plane crash in 1977 killing three of the band members, lynyrd skynyrd played on cranking out hit after hit, album after album over the years. now on tour with a new album, "last of a dying breed." lynyrd skynyrd's first album since 2009's "gods and guns." it's giving them their highest billboard chart debut since the 1970s. i talked to face-to-face some of the band on a tour stop right here in atlanta and i asked them after 60 albums, are there any stories behind the records and the songs that they could share? >> oh, yeah, but we can't discuss them on this program.
yeah -- >> a few of them. >> everything throughout our career has had a story and that's what we write about and to be able to last so long, i guess people can understand the stories we tell and the songs, and we just try to play for the people, you know, and do our thing for that. >> and people, you know, love the ones i just mentioned and so many others. even when you come out and you're launching your new tour, your new album, new songs, people in the audience are chanting "free bird." >> what song do you want to hear today? >> free bird! >> you got it baby. >> we always do the old favorites and stuff. we always do that for the people. it's fun to do a new tune here and there to keep it fresh. >> what happens when you look in the audience and you see those who have been growing with you and then they're bringing their kids? >> oh, yeah p.m. >> some of the songs, "simply man," "free bird" you can see
women crying, they think about their sons being overseas in service. there's memories that come up. it's kind of a lifetime of memories through our music. ♪ >> i think what's cool is the stories that you hear from, you know, people all over the years and the stories that they have about certain songs, how certain songs of the band has touched them in a certain way, you know, and it's amazing to me to listen to all the different ones from graduation to, you know, even parents saying, oh, our child was conceived during "free bird." enough information. >> a little tmi on that one. ♪ i'm as free as a bird now ♪ and this bird cannot change
>> i hear "free bird" and i think about my high school and junior high dances. it was just the buildup and everyone gets excited about the song and takes to the floor. it's very nostalgic. but for you, johnny, is it nostalgic when you play kind of the older tunes, the signature tunes, but then you got to introduce the new stuff, too, and it becomes a different tone on stage, doesn't it? >> well, right now we've got the new record out "last of a dying breed." i love it because we start the show off, kind of giving it out, gary comes out playing a slide and we have this wolf thing happening. it's just a lot of fun for us. i have been here in the band for 25 years. my brother, ronnie, started the band with gary and allen collins and, you know, it's been my pleasure to be out here and see how it's grown and, you know, see all the young fans come into this and love the old with the new. >> they are still enjoying the